Monday, April 27, 2009

Respect the Anthems

I, for one, think booing national anthems is very disrespectful. And I certainly don’t agree with James Mirtle or Greg Wyshynski of Puck Daddy who think we should stop playing the anthems in situations where people may take the advantage of the moment to distastefully show their loathing of the opposing team.

The national anthem gives us a quiet (relatively) moment to reflect on how good we have it in Canada and the USA. Respecting the anthem is like wearing your gear to a game, it’s unifying, it’s a badge to identify your friends and neighbors. The NHL is a business that spans the world but takes place largely in two countries. So we pay respect to those two countries before each game. Discontinuing the practice due to a few incidents and a few more idiots that incite a mob mentality response is not the answer. It’s allowing the inmates to run the asylum.

It’s about respecting the value of living a life that is so good we can take out time from survival to gather, cheer, buy $6 beers and have a good time. Not just a good time but fully immerse ourselves in the struggle of a GAME. People, sports are just games. If we have time to play games, things are good? No?

No? Let’s look at history. MLB was nearly suspended during WWII, I wasn’t alive, but I will venture that those good ole days were pretty rough. At that time the president of the US decided it was a needed distraction for the country.

So take a moment to reflect on how good you have it. Don’t boo other countries, it’s classless. And don’t stop playing anthems because of isolated incidents. What should we do? Should we play only the anthem of the home team? I dunno, it is actually a reasonably good idea, as opposed to Mirtle’s suggestion of stopping them altogether. And Wyshynski’s endorsement of this “salient” idea? Well, it’s lazy. So ignoring the problem makes it go away? Good to know.

I’m really not going ballistic over the booing, I expect stupid behavior from people at sporting events, and it’s all a part of it. It’s the suggestion that we refrain from the practice of performing the anthem. That is what really bothers me. I expect more from people like Puck Daddy and James Mirtle. They are like me, sitting at a desk typing, separated from the rabid crowds of their favorite team, insulated from riot mentality. Show some common sense. You want to stop playing the national anthem because of a few incidents? A few Sean Avery’s in the seats?

You want to shout out “STARS”, you Dallas fans? Fine. Whatever.
You want to sip your beer during the singing? Fine. Whatever.
At the Pepsi Center there is always a hearty chorus of “…our flag was still there” – is it disrespectful, is it nationalism? Or is it cheering for the greater team we are all a part of? I’m sure someone probably doesn’t care for it. But it’s probably well meant. It certainly isn’t booing.

All I’m saying is show a reasonable amount of respect. Take the time to reflect on how good we have it, the sacrifice that brought us this affluence, and show the same to our neighbors that have stood by us for more than a century. Isn’t that worth a little bit of your time and effort?

Posted by: From the Point

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